AS Gold Coast Mayor, I will be a full-time promoter of this city and will proactively pursue development.
My mission is to create more local jobs.
We need the banks to turn on the investment tap for this city. I want to take responsibility for getting some big projects going.
The council will do its part. The efficiency of entire organisation and its ongoing investments will be thoroughly examined.
Gold Coast business needs to be activated again. We will streamline the process for sustainable development and the first step will be to reduce the turnaround time for approvals.
We will also review the costs put on development by council through infrastructure charges and red tape.
If there is a project ready to get going now, I want to reduce its Priority Infrastructure Plan (PIP) charges to zero.
If other projects are not quite ready, we’ll slash the PIP charges by 50 per cent to get them closer to a start date.
As an example, the Coomera Town Centre would create a significant amount of jobs on the northern end of the Gold Coast.
The project attracted $185 million in PIP charges and subsequently was put on the backburner. I want to sit down and talk to the developers of this project and negotiate what needs to be done to see if we can get this project going.
The feedback from the Gold Coast people I spoke to on polling day was that they were looking forward to an end to the wasteful expenditure of the council. I want to wipe out the council’s $187 million debt.
To begin with, I am going to scrap the plans for the new council headquarters at Robina and sell the land, which will be worth at least $10 million. That money will go towards paying off the debt.
When it comes to water, I am going to accept the umpire’s decision on the disconnection of Allconnex.
There have been a lot of figures thrown around about how much dismantling Allconnex is going to cost. I need to see some real figures before I can commit to anything.
But if water does return to the control of the Gold Coast City Council, I don’t want it to be used purely to make a profit.
We get rain for free and I want to reflect that by delivering water to Gold Coast residents for as low a cost as we can, after taking into account the infrastructure and delivery costs.
I am going to create a Commonwealth Games standing committee and will chair that myself. Together with the Minister for the Commonwealth Games, Jann Stuckey, I will make regular visits to the sites and work with all stakeholders involved in preparing for the event.
I am a civil engineer and I know how to plan and build. I will be using that knowledge to ensure we take a ‘whole of city’ approach.
What leadership means to me is to first listen to the people. I need to listen to staff and my fellow councillors and make sure we’ve got everyone headed in the same direction.
I will put forward my ‘whole of city’ policy and will use my talent for building a team to get support for that vision.
I have been given a mandate by the people of the Gold Coast and it is something I accept humbly and with a great sense of responsibility. I am ready to roll up my sleeves and get on with the job.
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